The Planets is perhaps the best-known and most frequently performed work by the English composer Gustav Holst (1874-1934), written between 1914 and 1916. The seven movements of the suite, named after the planets of the solar system, reflect the influence of the planets on human consciousness, thoughts and emotions, and convey contrasting characters and moods. The composer’s fascination with astrology also led to an atypical ordering of the planets. In the suite, the celestial bodies are grouped based on their poetic significance. Interestingly, the artist excluded the Earth from the suite, thus specifically emphasising the astrological interpretation of the planets.
The Planets by Gustav Holst sounds like contemporary film soundtracks about space conquest, and unsurprisingly famous film music composers, such as John Williams (born in 1932) have repeatedly noted the rich orchestration of the piece. The complete version for symphony orchestra was first performed in London in 1920 and has since become a fixture in orchestral repertoires worldwide.
Merlin Patterson’s arrangement for wind orchestra, first performed in Lithuania by the State Wind Orchestra Trimitas, is complemented by video projections by artist Džiugas Katinas and stage lighting by lighting designer Rimas Petrauskas. The programme was developed by Karolis Variakojis, a most promising conductor of the younger generation and a co-founder of Vilnius City Contemporary Music Ensemble Synaesthesis.
Conductor Karolis Variakojis
Video projections Džiugas Katinas
Lighting designer Rimas Petrauskas
The premiere took place on 9 November 2020 (Monday), 18:00, at Trimitas Concert Hall (T. Ševčenkos St. 19A, Vilnius)
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